Shoe styles trending this spring: From metallic heels to comfortable clogs

Corina Gaffey: No matter the silhouette or style, there is a hero hue dominating footwear for spring – red

The big spring switch-up is on its way. The start of the new season is nearly upon us, with warmer weather allowing us to replace stodgy, bulky layers and boots for lighter clothes and ankle-baring styles.

When it comes to what is trending in footwear for spring, it is the battle of ballet flats versus slingbacks, with the two styles dominating the catwalk and high street. Designers are fixated on Mary Janes, metallic, embellishment, red, and colour-pop trainers elsewhere.

Ballet flats are a classic style and have been on the fashion radar for several seasons. The flat silhouette, which usually veers on the youthful and cute side, has been given a fresh overhaul. Bold colours, studs, and straps provide the sweet style with some much-needed edge, dialling down the sweetness. Loewe gave a lesson on how to embrace embellished styles, pairing shimmering ballet flats with wide-leg denim. While Simone Rocha, Tove and Molly Goddard embraced the charming nature of the flats, pairing them with floaty, frothy creations.

Alaia and The Row were originally responsible for creating viral ballet flat moments, crafting them in mesh fabrics and embellishment, and the high street has leant into the sheer, netting, cut-out and crystal ballet flats for the season.

Bow Sling Back €220, Nicki Hoyne
Bow silver shoes €345, Russell & Bromley

Chic but also comfortable, comes the slingback. Simple but effortless, take your pick from flat or kitten-heel styles, and wear the polished point with everything from tailored trousers to denim, midi skirts to boilersuits. Designers embraced the abbreviated, barely-there-heeled slingback on Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Prada runways.

Mesh ballet flat, €105, Dune
Red loafers €325 Russell & Bromley
Mary Jane shoes, €39.95, Zara

No matter the silhouette or style, there is a hero hue dominating footwear for spring – red. From Mary Janes to loafers, ballet flats, to strappy sandals, you can find an iteration of the fiery tone. And the trend is a keeper, with the latest fashion months looking forward to autumn featuring many a dark cherry or scarlet shoe. Denim, decked on everything from trenches to handbags for spring, has descended to footwear, too.

Satin, floral embellishments, and metallics, are instant gateways to spring, bringing a whimsy and feminine feel, perfect for a wedding or event. If you have ever had a what-shoe-to-wear-woe, a versatile spring wardrobe winner will always be a metallic heel, especially with occasion-wear. More interesting than nude, they go with any outfit or shade and are a designer favourite for spring, too. Simone Rocha, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci showed variations of shiny footwear.

Sumptuous satin elevates simple footwear, giving a dressy feel, but you can always contrast a satin pair of shoes with crisp denim to ensure maximum wear. More delicate than suede or leather, a satin shoe perfectly matches occasion-ready ensembles; make sure to use protective sprays. Bows, buckles and 3D florals bring the fun factor to footwear this season. Erdem and Valentino showed oversized, floor-sweeping fabric bows, but if you want a more wearable version, look to Irish designer Nicki Hoyne’s bright pink styles. Floral appliqués and adornments were seen at Balmain, with strappy sandals embellished with 3D blooms bringing the drama.

Leopard print clog, €399, Russell & Bromley

If you are more practical and a comfort-seeker, look to chunky sandals, flip-flops, loafers, and love-or-hate clogs to bring you back down to Earth. You will still be on trend, as the flip-flop has gone high-fashion, with Chanel styling tweed-ensembles with thong sandals. Meanwhile, Irish designers Simone Rocha and JW Anderson embraced the house-shoe-come-clog. The slip-on style was paired with everything from elevated trench dresses to cargo trousers at JW Anderson. Rocha debuted her collaboration with the Crocs shoe brand, showing embellished, utilitarian designs with tulle, voluminous dresses and oversized tailoring. On the high-street, Zara has teamed up with Clarks recreating iconic styles from the footwear retailer, including desert boots, and chunky crepe sole mules and loafers.

White court kitten heels, €49.99, Mango
Mesh ballet flats, €49.99, Mango